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Nobel Laureate at UC Riverside

UC Riverside to Host Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz

Economist Served as Chief Economic Advisor to President Clinton and the World Bank

(April 12, 2003)

Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Nobel prize-winning Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, a man who helped create a new branch of economics, will speak at the University of California, Riverside at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 17, in room 1500 of the Humanities and Social Sciences building. The talk is called, "Globalization and its Discontents."

The talk is free to the public, although parking costs $5.

Stiglitz, who served as economic advisor to President Clinton and later to the World Bank, is a professor at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of many books, including "Globalization and its Discontents," (Norton June 2001), which has been translated into 20 languages and is an international bestseller.

Stephen Cullenberg, a UCR professor and chair of Economics, invited Stiglitz to campus because his books are so influential in the field. In fact, Cullenberg has used two of Stiglitz’s books as texts this year in his classes, Globalization and its Discontents and Introduction to Macroeconomics.

“He is a world-class economist who is also deeply engaged in critical policy issues such as poverty and the effects of globalization,” Cullenberg said. “He has been very outspoken, sometimes on controversial subjects, and I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for my students to hear him speak.” The Department of Economics will sponsor the talk, along with a reception afterward, Cullenberg said.

Stiglitz received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967. Three years later he was a full professor at Yale University. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, MIT and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is now Professor of Economics and Finance at Columbia University in New York.

He was a member of the Council of Economic Advisors from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995-97. He then became Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997-2000.
It was actually papers he wrote in the 1970s that led to the Nobel Prize in 2001, a prize he shared with George A. Akerlof of UC Berkeley and Michael Spence of Stanford University. Together they were cited “for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information."

This new field, "The Economics of Information," essentially refers to the fact that sellers know something buyers don't, or vice versa. For instance, the seller of a good often knows more about its quality than the prospective buyer does. The job applicant will typically know more about his own ability than the potential employer does. The buyer of an insurance policy usually knows more about her individual risk than the insurance company does. That “asymmetrical knowledge” has consequences in the marketplace, according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the organization that awards the Nobel Prize.

Throughout his career, Stiglitz has made major contributions to macro-economics and monetary theory, to development economics and trade theory, to public and corporate finance, to the theories of industrial organization and rural organization, and to the theories of welfare economics and of income and wealth distribution. In the 1980s, he helped revive interest in the economics of Research and Development.

His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well, and how selective government intervention can improve their performance.
Joseph Stiglitz receives the Nobel Prize from the hands of the King of Sweden. Photo Courtesy of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Joseph Stiglitz receives the Nobel Prize from the hands of the King of Sweden. Photo Courtesy of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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